Flying Dust signed onto the Community Development Initiative (CDI) in the Saskatchewan Region in 2015, and was able to hire a community navigator in October 2015 (Joseph Tootoosis). During the year of 2016, there were 8 community engagement meetings, as well as community advisory team meetings, and community updates in the newsletter, and during other community gatherings.
In November of 2015, he attended the BC National CCP (Comprehensive Community Planning Workshop), and shortly after began community engagement.
In August 2016, Flying Dust First Nation Hosted the largest CCP gathering outside of BC, which was National in scope; this allowed INAC to assist in the hosting, by funnelling the funding through Flying Dust, and we used our finance administration and Community Navigator to organize the logistics of the event. FDFN also held their election in December, and the fall time was a period of finalizing legislative initiatives to prepare for the campaign/election period.
At the first National CCP conference/workshop in Winnipeg, in February 2017, the FDFN Community Navigator was a presenter for Saskatchewan Region and the Prairie provinces; FDFN Community Navigator will be serving in Mentorship role with Long Plain First Nation, who was the host for the National CCP Workshop/Conference.
The CDI began as a Pilot Project that was intended to last 3 years to build on the first pilot project almost ten years ago. The pilot project in 2006-2007, was analyzed by Indigenous Planning scholars in several publications; this let us know that although we had successes, First Nations suffered from the lack of implementation of their community goals, because of the lack of a position like a community navigator to help drive implementation after the plan was completed. Those publications also tell us that the CCP process of engagement is equally, if not more important than the deliverable (community plan). It is imperative to have community consultation, input and feedback, and buy-in for the leadership and administration to pursue those goals according to the priorities that the community sets out.
During the CCP Community Engagement Process, FDFN is also implementing community goals along the way. This engagement strategy gives our leadership the knowledge and confidence in community support to pursue goals that are deemed as immediate needs, as well as long term investments in Economic Development and Lands and Resources.